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Re: laser engraving

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  • bielerpr
    I took the workshop on using the laser engravers at Art Center. Quite amazing. I can see all sorts of uses for this. Rebuilding wood type collections, cutting
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 2, 2002
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      I took the workshop on using the laser engravers at Art Center. Quite
      amazing. I can see all sorts of uses for this. Rebuilding wood type
      collections, cutting wood engravings, keeping artifacts of specific
      forms, etc.

      This will even engrave halftones (though I don't know yet the
      effective line screen) and can alter depth of surface for other
      effects. The line of cut and/or engraving is almost not measurable so
      quite fine forms could be created. The depth of cut is limited to
      half an inch and the machines at Art Center don't cut metal but
      almost anything else is fair game (unless the material produces toxic
      fumes). So some kind of a base is necessary. I'll keep you informed.

      Gerald
    • Bryce Erickson
      Gerald and Group - Any printed or electronic outcomes of the Art Center workshop would be of interest. But for most folks, exploring the printing potential of
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 2, 2002
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        Gerald and Group -

        Any printed or electronic outcomes of the Art Center workshop would be of
        interest. But for most folks, exploring the printing potential of laser
        engraving means dealing with service bureaus that have no knowledge of
        print-making or letterpress. Their business, on the consumer side, is
        engraving plaques, trophies, souvenirs, etc. and, on the commercial side,
        engraving industial ID tags, everything from gas meter serial number plates
        to bovine ear tags. With some persistence, one can find an engraver willing
        to put up with a letterpress printer. The company I use claims to be able
        to achieve 150 lpi on most synthetic materials. They also do halftone
        engraving on some light metal although the examples i saw were photo
        positives. Toxic fumes are dealt with by enclosing the engaver in a fume
        hood. Bad for the environment but safe for the operators. I have printed
        images from laser engravings on phenolic (high density) plastic and on wood
        called (in Canada) K-3 board or particle board.

        Bryce Erickson
        Saskatoon SK Canada

        bielerpr wrote:

        > I took the workshop on using the laser engravers at Art Center. Quite
        > amazing. I can see all sorts of uses for this. Rebuilding wood type
        > collections, cutting wood engravings, keeping artifacts of specific
        > forms, etc.
        >
        > This will even engrave halftones (though I don't know yet the
        > effective line screen) and can alter depth of surface for other
        > effects. The line of cut and/or engraving is almost not measurable so
        > quite fine forms could be created. The depth of cut is limited to
        > half an inch and the machines at Art Center don't cut metal but
        > almost anything else is fair game (unless the material produces toxic
        > fumes). So some kind of a base is necessary. I'll keep you informed.
        >
        > Gerald
        >
        >
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        >
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      • bielerpr
        ... Dear Bryce Thanks for the info and ideas here. I was wondering how successful were you on printing with these materials say compared to metal type or
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 2, 2002
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          --- In PPLetterpress@y..., Bryce Erickson <beric8@s...> wrote:
          > Gerald and Group -
          >
          > Any printed or electronic outcomes of the Art Center workshop would be of
          > interest. But for most folks, exploring the printing potential of laser
          > engraving means dealing with service bureaus that have no knowledge of
          > print-making or letterpress. Their business, on the consumer side, is
          > engraving plaques, trophies, souvenirs, etc. and, on the commercial side,
          > engraving industial ID tags, everything from gas meter serial number plates
          > to bovine ear tags. With some persistence, one can find an engraver willing
          > to put up with a letterpress printer. The company I use claims to be able
          > to achieve 150 lpi on most synthetic materials. They also do halftone
          > engraving on some light metal although the examples i saw were photo
          > positives. Toxic fumes are dealt with by enclosing the engaver in a fume
          > hood. Bad for the environment but safe for the operators. I have printed
          > images from laser engravings on phenolic (high density) plastic and on wood
          > called (in Canada) K-3 board or particle board.
          >
          > Bryce Erickson
          > Saskatoon SK Canada
          >

          Dear Bryce

          Thanks for the info and ideas here. I was wondering how successful were you on printing with these materials say compared
          to metal type or photopolymer?


          I'd agree with what you have to say here, which I am singularly
          interpreting (perhaps mistakenly) as limited access to technology and associated costs. On
          the other hand, is this not the case with other printing technologies
          as well?

          As an example: Even though the artifacts of metal letterpress are scattered like the
          bones of buffalo across the vast plains of eBay that does not mean
          that this technology itself was cheaply accessible in its commercial
          heyday. The cost of new presses, casting equipment, foundry type, etc
          was quite prohibitive. If you were to try and have a typeface cast in
          foundry type today you would find you would probably have to appeal
          to the singular likes of a Theo Rehak and the associated costs would
          also be quite prohibitive. And Theo can only do so much as he himself
          is limited to the yet available manufactured elements that were
          required to make the whole process produce a single piece of type.

          I believe this applies in a not disimilar fashion to digital type as
          well. A well drawn technically functional typeface is quite expensive
          to undertake. I know, I had to have a quite complex face commissioned
          as part of a project and it cost almost as much as one of those
          digital laser engravers. Had there been more than one purchaser
          obviously the price would drop down in parcelling it out. But even in
          this instance (taking into account the historical development of software/hardware), it is quite clear to me that the single resultant
          product of any printing technology is the result of enormous
          investment that the end consumer can rare imagine.

          For most of us here, letterpress is a hobby, for some a semblance of a
          livelihood, a few do well enough; but we do not represent a viable
          market for any of these technologies. At best all we are doing is
          picking up the scraps here and there, making this work with that or that with this, and
          deriving pleasure or other gain out of the undertaking. And that is quite
          an accomplishment.

          I am getting more and more folks providing me with laser printed fake
          negs pumped up with toner enhancing spray. Why? They don't want to go
          to the service bureau or can't afford to, or for the project they
          have in mind, don't feel it is warranted. And they have found an
          alternative that works well enough for what they are doing.

          There is
          always a way, whether you take the low road or the high road, you've going to get there; all you have to do is keep moving on down that old "type road."

          All best

          Gerald
        • Neil Giroux
          Page 2. I have been working with a laser-equipped machine shop for some time to cut .50 copper matrices from digital type programs for use in a hand-casting
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
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            Page 2. I have been working with a laser-equipped machine shop
            for some time to cut .50 copper matrices from digital type
            programs for use in a hand-casting mould. The process work fine
            (mostly) but tends to be somewhat costly. And the learning curve
            for the machinist is a bit steep, too.

            bielerpr wrote:

            > --- In PPLetterpress@y..., Bryce Erickson <beric8@s...> wrote:
            >
            > > Gerald and Group -
            > >
            > > Any printed or electronic outcomes of the Art Center workshop
            > would be of
            > > interest. But for most folks, exploring the printing
            > potential of laser
            > > engraving means dealing with service bureaus that have no
            > knowledge of
            > > print-making or letterpress. Their business, on the consumer
            > side, is
            > > engraving plaques, trophies, souvenirs, etc. and, on the
            > commercial side,
            > > engraving industial ID tags, everything from gas meter serial
            > number plates
            > > to bovine ear tags. With some persistence, one can find an
            > engraver willing
            > > to put up with a letterpress printer. The company I use
            > claims to be able
            > > to achieve 150 lpi on most synthetic materials. They also do
            > halftone
            > > engraving on some light metal although the examples i saw
            > were photo
            > > positives. Toxic fumes are dealt with by enclosing the
            > engaver in a fume
            > > hood. Bad for the environment but safe for the operators.
            > I have printed
            > > images from laser engravings on phenolic (high density)
            > plastic and on wood
            > > called (in Canada) K-3 board or particle board.
            > >
            > > Bryce Erickson
            > > Saskatoon SK Canada
            > >
            >
            > Dear Bryce
            >
            > Thanks for the info and ideas here. I was wondering how
            > successful were you on printing with these materials say
            > compared
            > to metal type or photopolymer?
            >
            >
            > I'd agree with what you have to say here, which I am singularly
            >
            > interpreting (perhaps mistakenly) as limited access to
            > technology and associated costs. On
            > the other hand, is this not the case with other printing
            > technologies
            > as well?
            >
            > As an example: Even though the artifacts of metal letterpress
            > are scattered like the
            > bones of buffalo across the vast plains of eBay that does not
            > mean
            > that this technology itself was cheaply accessible in its
            > commercial
            > heyday. The cost of new presses, casting equipment, foundry
            > type, etc
            > was quite prohibitive. If you were to try and have a typeface
            > cast in
            > foundry type today you would find you would probably have to
            > appeal
            > to the singular likes of a Theo Rehak and the associated costs
            > would
            > also be quite prohibitive. And Theo can only do so much as he
            > himself
            > is limited to the yet available manufactured elements that were
            >
            > required to make the whole process produce a single piece of
            > type.
            >
            > I believe this applies in a not disimilar fashion to digital
            > type as
            > well. A well drawn technically functional typeface is quite
            > expensive
            > to undertake. I know, I had to have a quite complex face
            > commissioned
            > as part of a project and it cost almost as much as one of those
            >
            > digital laser engravers. Had there been more than one purchaser
            >
            > obviously the price would drop down in parcelling it out. But
            > even in
            > this instance (taking into account the historical development
            > of software/hardware), it is quite clear to me that the single
            > resultant
            > product of any printing technology is the result of enormous
            > investment that the end consumer can rare imagine.
            >
            > For most of us here, letterpress is a hobby, for some a
            > semblance of a
            > livelihood, a few do well enough; but we do not represent a
            > viable
            > market for any of these technologies. At best all we are doing
            > is
            > picking up the scraps here and there, making this work with
            > that or that with this, and
            > deriving pleasure or other gain out of the undertaking. And
            > that is quite
            > an accomplishment.
            >
            > I am getting more and more folks providing me with laser
            > printed fake
            > negs pumped up with toner enhancing spray. Why? They don't want
            > to go
            > to the service bureau or can't afford to, or for the project
            > they
            > have in mind, don't feel it is warranted. And they have found
            > an
            > alternative that works well enough for what they are doing.
            >
            > There is
            > always a way, whether you take the low road or the high road,
            > you've going to get there; all you have to do is keep moving on
            > down that old "type road."
            >
            > All best
            >
            > Gerald
            >
            >
            >
            >
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            >
            > To respond to this message or post a message to the membership:
            >
            > PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
            >
            > Encountering problems?
            > PPLetterpress-owner@yahoogroups.com
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
            > Service.


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Gaylord Schanilec
            Cutting wood engravings? Sounds like fighting with one hand tied behind your back--or both. Gaylor.d
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
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              Cutting wood engravings? Sounds like fighting with one hand tied behind your
              back--or both. Gaylor.d

              bielerpr wrote:

              > I took the workshop on using the laser engravers at Art Center. Quite
              > amazing. I can see all sorts of uses for this. Rebuilding wood type
              > collections, cutting wood engravings, keeping artifacts of specific
              > forms, etc.
              >
              > This will even engrave halftones (though I don't know yet the
              > effective line screen) and can alter depth of surface for other
              > effects. The line of cut and/or engraving is almost not measurable so
              > quite fine forms could be created. The depth of cut is limited to
              > half an inch and the machines at Art Center don't cut metal but
              > almost anything else is fair game (unless the material produces toxic
              > fumes). So some kind of a base is necessary. I'll keep you informed.
              >
              > Gerald
              >
              >
              > To respond to this message or post a message to the membership:
              > PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
              >
              > Encountering problems?
              > PPLetterpress-owner@yahoogroups.com
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            • Bryce Erickson
              ... Sorry folks for the posting in error. I ll try again. The laser-engraved phenolic prints well and, at least in my experience, is comparable to
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
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                >
                >
                > Dear Bryce
                >
                > Thanks for the info and ideas here. I was wondering how successful were you on printing with these materials say compared
                > to metal type or photopolymer?

                Sorry folks for the posting in error. I'll try again.
                The laser-engraved phenolic prints well and, at least in my experience, is comparable to photopolymer plate. The phenolic is dimensionally stable and
                remains completely flat even after engraving, print runs and wash-ups. The surface is extremely smooth, slippery almost, so I had to stay with a stiff ink
                (Lewis Roberts Inc. Special Black, from Graphic Chemical & Ink). Another minor caveat: these non-standard materials all come in thicknesses related to
                other industries (carpentry, construction, etc.) so backing them to achieve type height is tricky.
                The K-3 or particle board, by the very nature of its manufacture (heat pressed sawdust binder mixture), does not give a very fine line for printing. Edges
                softened a bit. Also, as a wood product, it is not dimensionally stable. I tried to 'insulate' several engraved particle board plates by coating them
                with white shellac before starting the print work. Particle board's advantage: it's cheap and comes in 4 foot by 8 foot sheets.

                Cheers,
                Bryce Erickson
              • Erik Desmyter
                ... cut .50 copper matrices from digital type programs for use in a hand-casting mould. I was under the impression (CO2?) lasers could cut most metals but not
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
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                  Neil Giroux wrote:
                  > I have been working with a laser-equipped machine shop for some time to
                  cut .50 copper matrices from digital type programs for use in a hand-casting
                  mould.

                  I was under the impression (CO2?) lasers could cut most metals but not
                  copper because of refection problems. What kind of laser were you using?

                  Erik
                • bielerpr
                  ... Hi Gaylord I wonder if some of the folks who use a baren for woodcut printmaking might not feel the same way about those who use a mechanical press!!!
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
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                    --- In PPLetterpress@y..., Gaylord Schanilec <midnight@c...> wrote:
                    > Cutting wood engravings? Sounds like fighting with one hand tied behind your
                    > back--or both. Gaylor.d
                    >
                    > bielerpr wrote:
                    >

                    Hi Gaylord

                    I wonder if some of the folks who use a baren for woodcut printmaking
                    might not feel the same way about those who use a mechanical press!!!

                    http://www.barenforum.org

                    Interesting group. Right down there at the essence of it all.

                    All best

                    Gerald
                  • Katie Harper
                    I need to find a source for good quality rollers. I have used Brown Regrinding. Any other recommendations? Does anyone have a phone number for Brown? Also, the
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jun 3, 2002
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                      I need to find a source for good quality rollers. I have used Brown
                      Regrinding. Any other recommendations? Does anyone have a phone number for
                      Brown?

                      Also, the last time I got rollers recovered there, Bruce Brown said that the
                      material that makes up the rollers was almost impervious to just about all
                      solvents. Is this true? Someone else told me not to use oil on them, which
                      is scary, since I use baby oil as a first-step cleanup process. Any
                      suggestions?

                      Katie Harper
                      Ars Brevis Press
                      Cincinnati, OH
                    • Harold Kyle
                      ... 763-553-1461 2075 East Center Circle, Plymouth, MN 55441 ... Brown s rollers are pvc-nitrile rubber, which is resistant to just about every solvent except
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jun 6, 2002
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                        On 6/3/02 4:44 PM, "Katie Harper" <knharper@...> wrote:
                        > I need to find a source for good quality rollers. I have used Brown
                        > Regrinding. Any other recommendations? Does anyone have a phone number for
                        > Brown?
                        763-553-1461
                        2075 East Center Circle, Plymouth, MN 55441

                        > Also, the last time I got rollers recovered there, Bruce Brown said that the
                        > material that makes up the rollers was almost impervious to just about all
                        > solvents. Is this true?
                        Brown's rollers are pvc-nitrile rubber, which is resistant to just about
                        every solvent except "highly polar solvents such as acetone, and MEK, ozone,
                        chlorinated hydrocarbons and nitro hydrocarbons." Baby oil, ie white mineral
                        oil, is fine.

                        Harold

                        ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
                        Boxcar Press
                        Fine Printing and Binding ~ Digital Letterpress Supplies
                        640 Fellows Avenue ~ Syracuse, NY 13210
                        315-473-0930 ~ phone and fax
                        www.boxcarpress.com
                        ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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